My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

Starting a Business

All-Inclusive Snacks Take Off Across the Continent

This couple found a recipe for success in allergen-free treats.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the February 2007 issue of Entrepreneurs StartUps Magazine. Subscribe »

Vital Stats>> Lori and Mark Sandler, 43 and 47, respectively, of Divvies

Company>> South Salem, New York, manufacturer of gourmet treats made without peanuts, tree nuts, eggs or milk

2006 sales>> About $300,000

Inspiration>> Lori and Mark's son Benjamin was born with severe food allergies. As he got older, "he felt excluded from just about everything, because so much of our lives revolves around food and eating," says Lori. She began creating allergen-free treats that actually tasted good.

The Catalyst>> When did Lori know she had a business on her hands? "When my older children loved the cookies," she says. "Friends and [classmates] loved them, and teachers asked if I could bake them for their classes."

Perfect Timing>> Lori had quit her job to become a stay-at-home mom and Mark had sold his furniture rental business. They saw a market opportunity in the 11 million Americans who have food allergies. The Sandlers started their self-financed company in spring 2005 and opened a facility where no peanuts, tree nuts, eggs or milk were allowed.

Breakthrough>> They started selling online in October 2005; getting into Bloomingdale's was their first big break. Securing several locations in Disney World, including restaurants, hotels and bakeries, was another turning point for Divvies. "Disney has given us great credibility," says Lori. Currently, they sell their gift- and party-favor-size popcorn and cookies in all 50 states and Canada at places such as small boutiques and Bloomingdale's restaurants.

Mission Possible>> "There's a real passion here, and the inspiration is Benjamin," says Lori. "I'm on a mission to make this labor of love available to everyone, whether they have food allergies or not."

Liz Hamburg helps entrepreneurs launch new businesses as the founder and president of Upstart Ventures. She can be heard on WOR radio (710AM in New York) on Launchpad, a weekly segment focusing on entrepreneurs and small business.

More from Entrepreneur

Terry's digital marketing expertise can help you with campaign planning, execution and optimization and best practices for content marketing.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Are you paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

Latest on Entrepreneur